The Department of Justice recently settled with a Texas school district over charges it discriminated against new hires in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
INA mandates equal treatment, regardless of citizenship status
The DOJ reached a settlement with Aldine, Texas, Independent School District, after the department found the employer asked non-citizens for specific documents when attempting to reverify employment eligibility after their original documents expired.
"The INA applies even when reverifying employment eligibility."
The anti-discrimination provision of the INA bars employers from making extra documentary requests of new hires who are not U.S. citizens. It is important to ensure that the Form I-9 process is the same for all employees regardless of citizenship status. Any variation from standard practice on the basis of citizenship status could be conveyed as a breach of the anti-discrimintion provision. Employers should ask all new hires to bring a qualified combination of List A, B and C documents to prove authorization to work in the U.S.
School district to pay $140,000 civil penalty
The school district violated the INA, which applies even when reverifying employment eligibility.
"Employers must ensure that their human resources staff understand proper hiring practices," Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. "The INA prohibits discrimination because of citizenship status and the Civil Rights Division continues to enforce this statute around the country to remind all employers of their compliance obligations as well as to vindicate the rights of employees."
The settlement agreement required the school district to pay a $140,000 civil penalty. Aldine will also have to set up a three-year program to train employees, students and their parents on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The DOJ has frequently charged employers with discrimination in recent years. It is important to ensure staff is trained on INA compliance to avoid fines.
Learn how to avoid compliance and discriminatory issues with web-based Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions offered by I-9 Advantage. Click here to schedule a live demonstration today.